Mākoņkalns – Order Castle Wolkenburg


   For the first time, the castle appeared in historical sources as the seat of a order convent managed by the commander Dietrich in 1263. However its creation should be dated earlier, in the mid-13th century or even the fourth decade of the first half. Certainly, it was the oldest order stronghold of the Latgale region. Despite promising beginnings, Wolkenburg was not expanded, and the commandry was moved to the teutonic castle in Daugavpils in 1277. Since then, little is known about the history of the castle. Documents from 1347 and 1350 indicate that it was then inhabited and could play a role in the armed campaign against Lithuania in the 30s of the 14th century. It was probably abandoned before the fall of the Teutonic Order in Livonia in 1561.


   The castle was situated on the top of a high, as for Latvian conditions, hill. Initially, the fortifications were still wood and earth, only after some time a stone wall was created, protecting at least one side of the inner courtyard with a shape similar to a square. This courtyard was additionally protected from the south by a palisade surrounding the outer bailey. Probably the second bailey was created from the east side.

Current state

   The remains of the castle still visible on the hill today are a simple fragments of the wall with a height of up to several meters. Its characteristic feature is the lower part, made of very large stones reaching even one meter in diameter.

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Borowski T., Miasta, zamki i klasztory. Inflanty, Warszawa 2010.
Tuulse A., Die Burgen in Estland und Lettland, Dorpat 1942.